The Fugitive

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  • Catch him if you can. The Fugitive is on the run! Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones race through the breathless manhunt movie based on theic TV series. Ford is prison escapee Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon falsely convicted of killing his wife and determined to prove his innocence by leading his pursuers to the one-armed man who actually committed the crime. Jones (1993 Academy Award and Go

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Catch him if you can. The Fugitive is on the run! Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones race through the breathless manhunt movie based on the classic TV series. Ford is prison escapee Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon falsely convicted of killing his wife and determined to prove his innocence by leading his pursuers to the one-armed man who actually committed the crime. Jones (1993 Academy Award and Golden Globe winner as Best Supporting Actor) is Sam Gerard, an unrelentin… More >>

The Fugitive

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5 Comments
  1. Okay, “The Fugitive” had your standard action-pic thrills and a pretty good performance by Tommy Lee Jones. But really, this is a lousy movie for three reasons.

    1. It’s only about a guy running from the law and trying to clear his name. That was never the point of the TV series — the series was all about putting the character into situations where he’d be thrown in with the poor or oppressed people of America — abused women, Mexican farm workers, black brutality victims, the people who never showed up on “Father Knows Best.” It was a show with a tremendous sense of adventure and conscience, whereas the movie chickens out, cuts the guts out of the “Fugitive” concept and just turns it into a will-he-or-won’t-he-survive cliffhanger. It’s mentally empty Hollywood schlock. Which would be fine if they hadn’t called it “The Fugitive.”

    2. The train crash at the beginning (and in the trailer, so I’m not giving anything away) — he really survived that? Give me a break.

    3. When we find out the reason why somebody has hatched this evil plot against him, it’s laughable. I’m sorry, this scheme would just never have happened in life — it would easily have been found out and there’s no incentive for someone to have cooked it up in the first place. This is lame screenwriting.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. Can’t touch David Janssen’s excellent TV series.

    When will THE REAL FUGITIVE be put out on DVD, is what I’d like to know?
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. In `The Fugitive’, Andrew Davis chose to adapt a television icon into a vehicle for its star, Harrison Ford. Unfortunately, at the same time, Davis managed to provide an icon for a trend that has been plaguing films since, presumably, moviemakers began to run out of viable plot lines: the Dumbing Down of the American Audience Movie. Although numerous examples could be offered from the film to demonstrate this unfortunate trend, the four most vital ones should suffice:

    1) Ford, a successful and wealthy doctor, presented as being obviously close to his wife (or was her strewing of rose blossoms strictly for therapeutic effect?), is convicted of her killing with only weak and highly dubious evidence and motive which any decent attorney, let alone the battery of them he should have hired, would have shredded in no time.

    2) Since the crime was committed in Chicago, and Ford was remanded to the Illinois State prison for the carrying out of his sentence, a U.S. Marshal would not have had jurisdiction especially at the time the movie was made. Assuming Illinois was similar to most other states, their state police would be responsible for escaped state felons, and even if help was solicited from the federal government it would have been on a collaborative basis at best. Both Tommy Lee Jones’s right in asserting control of the case, and the arrogance in which he conducted himself throughout the movie, were ridiculous.

    3) The unjustly famous bus/train crash scene in fact, suffered from severe problems of continuity and logic. The bus clearly was not on any train tracks when it came to a rest; even if so given the nature of the terrain it rolled down it would have had to come to a rest along the tracks instead of across them; the entire scene shifted to an entirely different locale when the train did come along, including a large river below and beside the tracks; the second engine of the 2-engine train was obviously well beyond Ford instead of being behind him when it jumped the tracks; and in any event all he would have had to do was run a few yards at right angles to the engine’s path instead of directly before it to escape it.

    4) The one-armed man stated to Jones that he had been previously investigated by the police for the murder of Ford’s wife. As a matter of course they would then have discovered that both his position in and the nature of the company he was working for should have been more than enough to arouse ample suspicion and lead them to the true guilty parties.

    Given these crucial shortcomings, along with the usual number of absurdities films of this type seem to indulge in (the Chicago police virtually en masse were portrayed as immoral and inept thugs), and the usual number of minor problems (Ford would have had to jump at least 30 feet out to hit the dam’s converging water plumes and avoid the concrete wall, and from a standing position to boot!) and coincidences necessary to further the flow of the script (in the enormous Cook County Hospital complex Jones conveniently finds himself at a crucial time right outside the one department that gives him an insight into the crime), one wonders if most of the other reviews at this site were about the same movie, especially after its appearance on DVD allows for repeated viewings. The shame of it is that, given more care in directing and continuity, many of the above problems could have been eliminated and `The Fugitive’ might well indeed have been a good or even excellent movie.

    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. It seems like every time Harrison Ford makes a movie, everyone has a urge to see it because they know it is going to be a good movie. This is the case with The Fugitive. Movies are not made like this anymore, not to say that the movies that are made other ways are not good, but a smart thriller like this is just plain exciting. There is not a dull point in the movie and it keeps you wondering if you would have done what Dr Kimble (Ford)would have done, and when you think about it, most of the stuff that he does to survive in the movie is possible, making the movie even more interesting. And added to that, it has a great supporting cast that includes the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, who is a spectacular actor himself! With a new dvd edition of this awesome movie coming out, it is definately a must-buy action, non-dead brain fun time that fans want these days!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. …that is the message from this rather illogical but fast-moving film. Poor old (wrongly convicted) Dr. Richard Kimble escapes from State Prison, and through some inexplicable legal quirk, the Federal Government takes jurisdiction for capturing him. Good thing too, since (according to this film) all state cops and other State and Local authorities are venal idiots, and the Feds, by contrast, are hyper-competent and masterful Law Enforcement Professionals (capital letters). I love the scene where Tommy Lee Jones (a Federal Marshal, no less) almost captures Kimble (Harrison Ford)… Get Down On Your Knees Richard, if you don’t want to get shot!… (you can almost hear him think: “this is the proper position for ANYONE when in the presence of the all-mighty Federal Government…” By the way, fugitive Richard Kimble has not committed the ultimate crime of criticizing an incumbent politician within 30 days of an election in violation of McCain-Feingold. No, he is (wrongly) convicted of murdering his wife.

    When referring to a large drug company, Tommy Lee Jones (embodying the Federal Government) remarks “that company does nine billion dollars in sales a year… it is a monster” … you can almost hear him say “…the kind of monster that Bill and Hillary have been fighting all their lives.”

    Despite the heavy-handed portrayal as the Federal Government as the rightful Master of Us All, this is a fast-paced action film that holds the viewer’s interest. Harrison Ford is as appealing as always, and Tommy Lee Jones shows us that we don’t really need laws or judges to restrain the Federal Government, because it has contempt for these things anyway. After all, as Jones points out, he wants wiretaps on everyone, including Kimball’s lawyer, and he will justify this later, “if I’m in a good mood.” Hey, who needs the Constitution?

    Yes, I admit it, I’ve got an attitude about this film. I still enjoyed it though. Go figure.
    Rating: 3 / 5

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